Category Archives: Marketing

Marketing Glossary

Mathematical rules search engines follow to rank web pages. Figuring out search engine algorithms is a significant part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you understand how the search engines calculate relevance, you can make specific changes to your web pages to rank higher.

Anchor Text
The clickable part of your hyperlinks. This text also helps search engines understand what the linked-to page is about.

Banner Ad
A rectangular display advertisement placed on a website or participating search engine. Clicking on the ad takes you to the sponsors landing page.

A computer program to view and interact with websites on the Internet. The most common browsers are Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Click fraud
Process where competitors or other unscrupulous individuals click on paid advertisements without intending to purchase or interact with the website. Click fraud can happen manually, by one individual at a time, or en masse using a program. All major search engines detect and combat click fraud.

The action taken when a user clicks on a paid display ad or other hyperlink and arrives at another website or landing page.

Click-through rate (CTR)
The percentage of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times the ad was viewed. The number of clicks on an ad divided by the times it was viewed. For example, an ad with 5 clicks for every 100 views has a 5% CTR.

Conversion rate
The percentage of desired actions (sale, lead, etc.) divided by the number of clicks on the ad. For example, 10 sales from 100 clicks would yield a 10% conversion rate.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
The cost an advertiser is willing to pay for a desired action (click, sale, lead, etc.).

Cost-per-click (CPC)
The cost incurred to a sponsor when a user clicks on a paid text advertisement.

Cost-per-thousand (CPM)
Used in traditional as well as online advertising. Refers to the price a sponsor pays for the display of 1000 advertisements.

Crawler / Robot / Spider
A program used by search engines to visit, examine and catalog factors on a given website. The crawler then follows all outbound links to other websites to repeat the process, eventually reaching all linked websites on the Internet.

A topical list of websites viewed, ranked and catalogued by a human (as compared to a search engine, where these functions are done by a computer program). Directories tend to have better and more relevant results when searched topically.

Geographical targeting
Enhancing website elements or paid marketing campaigns to reach a specific geographical area (such as your state or county).

Hyperlink / hypertext link / link
An element on a webpage where clicking on it takes your to another webpage or website.

HTML (hypertext markup language)
The programming language browsers use to render a webpage.

Inbound link (or Back Link)
The link from another website pointing to your website. Search engines use the number of links in their algorithms to assess the popularity and importance of your website.

Inbound Marketing
The multi-step process of creating extensive content (articles, blogs, videos, etc.) about solution(s) you provide for your target market’s problems or aspirations; then optimizing and implementing strategies and processes to help your content get found by those prospects already learning, discovering and shopping online for an answer to these objectives.

The entire collection of web pages a search engine can draw from when queried by a user. The index is composed of the pages found by the crawler.

A count of the number of times an advertisement is viewed. For an example, an ad viewed 1000 times is said to have received “1000 impressions”.

Keyword / key phrase
The word(s) used for a search engine query.

Keyword density
The percentage of keywords and key phrases as compared to the total number of words. Keyword density is a factor in many search engine algorithms.

Landing page
A specific web page reached when visitors click on a display ad, organic listing or text based advertisement.

LinkedIn Optimization (LIO)
The art and science of manipulating your public LinkedIn profile, and thus rank higher on both search engine queries and LinkedIn searches. LIO generally includes achieving 100% completeness on your public profile, making and receiving recommendations, participating in groups, and answering questions within your industry.

Link farms
Websites containing only links with little or no genuine content.

Link popularity
A measure of the number of websites linking to a given webpage. Link popularity is a factor in many search engine algorithms.

Link text
The underlined and clickable text contained in a hyperlink. Well-written link text describes to the user what they are likely to find if they click on the hyperlink.

Listings / natural listings / organic listings
The non-sponsored information appearing on a search engine results page. Listings are organized with the most important webpage being listed first, and so on. Sites appear in the listings because an algorithm has deemed then appropriate for the keyword or key phrase query.

Long Tail Theory
The economics of abundance. With Search Engine Marketing, it means you can make more by selling less with certain infrequently used keywords or keyphrases.

Meta tags
HTML elements on a web page. Meta tags tell the crawler what type of content, the description of the page and associated keywords. The most important HTML elements are the title tag and Meta description tag. Meta keywords, although commonly used, have little or no influence on search engine rankings.

Online marketing
A vehicle for interaction between prospects and your website. It allows any user connected to the Internet to receive, view and act upon advertising messages as well as with organic, or non-paid, listings.

Optimization services
Services offered by a business to increase search engine optimization of a website. These services generally are performed with a goal of increasing the rank of a website with one or more search engines.

Outbound links
Links from your website to another website or webpage. The visitor generally has to leave your website to follow an outbound link.

Page view
The number of times a given webpage has been viewed. For example, a website viewed 500 times is said to have received “500 page views.”

Paid inclusion / paid listings / paid placement
Payment for listing on a search engine or directory. Paid inclusion does not guarantee organic ranking for any keyword or key phrase.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
A marketing program where text or other advertisements are displayed based on specific keyword or key phrase queries. Advertisers then pay the sponsoring search engine based on the number of click-throughs to their website. These listings are generally separated from the organic listings.

A keyword or key phrase request to a search engine’s index, which results in a search engine results page (SERP).

Search engine
An Internet website used to search the web for websites matching your keyword or key phrase query., and all have search engine functions.

Search engine optimization (SEO)
The art and science of manipulating web pages to influence search engines, and thus rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP) for a given keyword or key phrase. SEO generally includes a review of the website’s architecture and HTML structure, content development and in-bound link development.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A high-level marketing program, often including search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising, with a goal of improving the conversion rate of a website or webpage.

Search engine results pages (SERPs)
The page displayed after a user queries a search engine.

Social Marketing
A type of website requiring user participation or user generated content. The three main types of sites within social marketing are social media (e.g. Flickr, YouTube), social networking (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) and social bookmarking (e.g. Delicious, StumbleUpon).

The practice of sending unsolicited e-mail messages to promote a website or webpage. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was enacted by Congress to combat spam.

Title Tag
An HTML meta tag with text describing a specific web page. Arguably the most important piece of data on your web page, since it’s also the clickable portion on search engine results pages.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The domain name or Internet address for a given website or webpage.

Universal Search
Blended search results which pulls data from multiple sources, and may contain images, videos, maps, live search results and news stories.

Modern Marketing over Traditional Marketing

Marketing is going through a revolution.  From the days when sales people used some form of advertising or traditional marketing methods to modern marketing strategies like online marketing, SEO and E-mail marketing.  Traditional or non-traditional, marketing is a widely used method to inform potential customers about products and services and to establish a customer base.  Whichever method, marketing will enable you to engage with your customers in every way possible.

Technology advances have forced companies to change their marketing strategies.  From traditional methods, they get to embrace modern ways to carry out their marketing campaigns. Companies have spent billions to strengthen their marketing strategies. They have adapted several new methods of promoting their products and services to compete with the rising market. Although many have relied to modern marketing today, there are still businesses who opted to use the traditional methods to do their marketing.

Traditional marketing is used by businesses to get the word out about their product or service, whether it is by pushing a cart load of wares around, distributing flyers or advertising in newspapers.   Anyone that is trying to sell something used some sort of these to get their products noticed.

Door to door sales also constitute the traditional marketing.  In some industries some form of knocking on doors is the best way to do business even today.  Another one is by using Yellow Page.  The yellow page is a very thick book filled with thousands of business listing of business owners throughout a specific area.  People would often look through the book to search for businesses that interest them.

Now, there are a lot of other traditional marketing methods that people use to market their businesses, yet because of the emergence of new technologies, they don’t respond to these methods like they did before.  Instead of a business spending millions on television advertising or on other traditional marketing strategies they can save on using some modern marketing strategies like SEO, B2B telemarketing and email marketing and promote just as effectively.

E-marketing is another name for web marketing or online marketing.  It is a business strategy that is increasingly being adopted over the traditional forms of marketing.  For businesses that aim to establish an online presence in a cost-effective way, then this is a much preferred solution.  One of the advantages of e marketing is that it can reach a wider client base for it uses Internet as medium to connect with millions of potential customers.  Unlike with traditional marketing strategies, e marketing can undertake all sorts of tasks like customer service, information management and public relations at low costs.

Some businesses die because of their weak marketing strategies.  Success in business requires careful and longer research of the market, product and service.  Really it takes time to learn what method works for your business.  You will constantly need to find and adapt methods that will meet your needs.  Take a step now.  Outsource your marketing activities to reliable call centers before your competitors eat their way into your potential customers.

The Costs and Rewards of Appointment Setting in B2B Telemarketing

There are a number of reasons why some applicants just could not be accepted for a job. Perhaps, skills are lacking. The required educational attainments are not met. Some might have the intelligence, but are self-diffident which failed them in the interview. Or to put it simply, there are just persons who are not qualified with a company’s standards.

The same is true in lead generation. It is necessary that every little thing is qualified, not a mere illusion. Sales leads must be qualified in order to have higher chances of closed sales. The installed technology ought to be qualified according to a company’s specific needs. The outsourced telemarketing company should be qualified in order to wrap up qualified appointments that their clients want.

Every company aims for qualified appointments. They do not want their sales representatives to arrive empty-handed after an assumed qualified appointment setting with a sales lead. After all, they pay a price to get what they want. However, when a business entity outsources a business-to-business  B2B telemarketing, every penny paid is returned in double or more.

Let us uncover the costs and rewards of a qualified appointment setting.

1. Cost Per Appointment

How much does a company pay for every qualified appointment? Does the payment worth the outcome of the appointment? Or is it overpaid?

Cost per appointment depends on the agreement between the telemarketing company and its client. Another thing that has been considered is the specific decision maker that an appointment setter has targeted.

The telemarketing firms have trained and educated their professional appointment setters to provide their clients with a list of qualified appointments, which targeted those decision makers who are at the top management. When client’s sales people delivered well during the presentation, sales come in a hundredfold.

2. Cost Per Quota

Aside from cost per lead, another cost scheme used is the cost per quota. Meaning to say, clients pay when the telemarketing service provider has reached the requirement in the number of qualified appointments. This is no problem for both partners. In the case of the client, an aggregate payment is lower than a cost per appointment. On the telemarketing firm’s side, there is no pressure in meeting the requirement since such agreed demand has been based primarily on the appointment setters’ experiences and capability.

3. Other Service Costs

An appointment is the start and not the end of customer relationship. This is to be followed with lead nurturing. This is so because it is crucial to keep in touch with the customer so that loyalty will exist. The business organization is obliged to keep their customers aware through constant updates.

A life-time value should be established relative to the customer. If a company is content with one sale to one sales lead, then such firm ought to think seventy seven times. It is to be remembered that one closed sale is a big no-no in doing business.

4. Opportunity Costs

When appointment setters pick up the wrong prospects, the opportunity costs foregone is high. The time, money and endeavor that should have been used to generate qualified appointments are wasted when the wrong ones are chosen.

The good thing is that this is not an issue with telemarketing service providers. Through their pre-qualification processes and specialists, no appointment is set until it has been accurately determined that a sales lead is qualified, sales-ready and within the company’s criteria of targeted prospects.

5 Really Good Reasons NOT to Discount

As a small business with no marketing department, there is an immediate urge to discount when times are tough. This may have short-term advantages but in the end it will be causing you much bigger problems.

Can you afford to make price your main selling point? Here’s five really good reasons why I believe you should not be discounting:

The big boys have the money to outlast you
It hurts any small business owner to see big retailers or big business in general coming out with a heavy schedule of advertising, promoting discounts and undercutting your products. But trying to combat this by matching the discounts is really dangerous because the chances are, they have bigger margins because of their buying power and they have more advertising dollars to promote their sales.

Consumers come to expect it all the time
In a frugal environment we as consumers are more than often researching online to find the best prices, or even visiting various stores to assess prices before purchasing. So it goes without saying, once we find the cheapest price for something then we will continue to go back. The only thing we’re loyal to at this stage is price. Once that price goes back up, then it’s back on, we’re searching again. This means you will have to find something else to keep them coming back otherwise they’re gone, or continue discounting.

We’re becoming immune to discounts
There was a time and it wasn’t that long ago when 10% or 20% off actually meant something. But now, anything less than 20% isn’t that special and to be honest 10% off or less is just embarrassing (maybe 10% off a BMW). This perception will not be changing overnight and worst case, it might continue so whilst you’re happy to discount 25%, have you got the margins to go to 40% and further?

It devalues your product and your service
Unfortunately we tend to perceive value by cost. Everything in a discount store is cheap and nasty and basically very poor quality. Is this really the case? Do we know for fact? No. But because it’s all cheap that’s the perception. So there is every chance that once you’ve been discounting for a an extended period of time, consumers will start to devalue your products and your service. This affects your brand and your business.

It cuts your margins and your profits
Business is tough. The overheads are increasing, consumers are cutting their spending. Can you afford to cut your margins in an environment like this? Obviously many see no other way. If you discount 50% then think about it, you’re going to need to sell twice as many units.

Of course it’s real easy to turn around and say don’t do it but you need a solution right? Please check out some of my other posts for some ideas or if you prefer to just keep discounting then hopefully these ideas should help:

  • One Day Only Sales – Identify what is your slowest trading day and introduce discounts for that day each week. It will encourage the people looking for bargains to come in during the week and it will ensure your margins are still healthy on your busiest days.
  • Encourage Loyalty – Ask for your customers mobile numbers to run small SMS campaigns, get their email address so you can send them an email newsletter, ask them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook. The point is, it’s OK to give a customer a discount if you know you’ll see them again and again. So get their details and provide exclusive discounts, it encourages loyalty.
  • Minimum Spend – Only apply discounts on a minimum spend to ensure that you are doing what you can to increase revenue.
  • Offer a Freebie – Is it possible in your situation to give away a freebie instead of a discount? At the end of the day, the consumer is looking for value. If you can source cheap, relevant gifts that perceive value this may be a better strategy. Perhaps this might even be branded to help encourage them coming back. For example, if you’re running 25% off and someone comes in for a $100 item, you’ve essentially handed them $25 in discounts but what if it was a $10 gift? As long as it weighs up in the customer’s mind.

Discounting has a place in any marketing strategy, but it can be dangerous and it should not be done hastily. Think about some of these options I’ve noted and be creative. You will be much better off if you do not compete for a customer based purely on price.

Photo credit by linder6580.

The Marketing Equation

Most business owners typically focus on either one or two aspects of their business: total revenue or net profit. The common mindset is increase one, and you’ll increase the other. But total revenue and net profit are results. The only way to change a result is to influence the components that make it. Think about it: you can’t bake a better pie with the same recipe – you have to change some or all of the ingredients.

There’s a better way to grow your business – it’s called The Marketing Equation. With this simple formula, I’ll show you how to change end results, such as net profit, by focusing on the variables that influence each one.

The only numbers you’ll ever need to know:

  • Prospects X Conversion Rate = Customers
  • Customers X Transactions X Average Sale = Total Revenue
  • Total Revenue X Margin = Profit

It’s important to understand that results cannot be changed. Everything before an “equals” sign is a variable to improve upon; everything after an “equals” sign is a result. The only way to influence a result is improve upon the variables that make up the result.

So, if you’re a business only focusing on Margin, you’re missing out on several other ways to improve your bottom line.

Step 1: Prospects X Conversion Rate = Customers
Let’s start with the first variable, Prospects. Since this is technically a result, we can influence and increase Prospects by marketing directly to a select group of suspects (people who demographically match your typical customer). You’ll also save money on wasteful “image” advertising, which cannot be tracked and only serves to make your advertising sales representative more commissions.

Successfully implement a unique selling proposition (USP) – the reason why someone should buy from you – and you’ll instantly improve upon the Conversion Rate of prospect to customer.

When you multiply Prospects and Conversion Rate, your result is Customers.

Step 2: Customers X Transactions X Average Sale = Total Revenue
When marketing to your Customers, maximize your follow up marketing, community relations and direct mail to make your business the obvious choice when Customers are looking for what it is you sell. Along with your USP, this is the only surefire way to increase both Transactions and Average Sale.

Multiply CustomersTransactions and Average Sale together and your result is Total Revenue.

Step 3: Total Revenue X Margin = Profit
In the final step, multiply Total Revenue by Margin, to calculate your Profit. If you’ve implemented all 7 steps of my marketing system, you’re no longer competing on price – you’re competing on value, and can easily increase your Margin.

The Marketing Equation, Illustrated
Let’s take a look at how slight improvements in one area to small improvements in all areas stack up:

This example shows how small improvements dramatically change your bottom line.

Let’s say your business has 100 prospects, and you convert 20% of them into customers. You then sell them 10 times throughout the year an average of $10 per transaction. You’ll make $2000 in sales. On your 10% margin, this results in $200 of profit. Not bad.

What happens if you improve just one variable?
If you’re like most businesses, you’re really only focusing on one area for growth. If you look at the second column, we’ve increased only the number of Prospects by 10%, to 110. This results in an additional $20 net profit, for a total net profit of $220. So, by improving just one variable by 10%, you’ve added an additional 10% in profit. Pretty good.

Minor improvements in all variables = dramatic results.
But you’re not just any business. You’ve gone through and implemented all 7 steps in the marketing plan, and you’re able to increase all factors by 10%. This returns greater than 61% in profit! It’s incredible to see the power of making minor improvements work together and build upon the small success in each variable to return a sum greater than the individual parts.